“Actually there’s such a big desire to have an identity, but identity lies within yourself, not outside. For example, we can find clubs of any kind, cults of any kind. They wear funny dresses just to show that they have a special personality. The other day in Chicago it was very cold and I found a gentleman who came as one leader of one of the cults, was chanting, chanting, chanting like mad.
I asked him, ‘Why are you wearing this dhoti in this cold? It is so very cold we are shivering.’ He said that. ‘My guru has told me that I should wear a dhoti so I’ll get my self-realization.’ I said, “Really!” I said, ‘Eighty percent people in India wear dhotis or they must be already there. You may not get any room there.’
Then second thing he told me – he had shaven his head and was having a, some pigtail behind – and he says that, I told him, ‘Why did you do this?’ Quite a young man. He said, ‘My guru has told me that I have to shave my head and I have to have all these things. That’s how I’ll get my nirvana.’ I said, ‘Really!’ So Kabira, a great poet, has written that by shaving if you can go to heaven. What about the lamb which is shaved twice a year? That will be there earlier.”
Shree Mataji Nirmala Devi – 22 February 1995, extract from public programme, Sydney, Australia.